I am only going to give a brief summery of what has been happening to the two of us, as I will be letting Elisa fill in a lot of the details. I am doing this for three reasons. First, (my own selfish reason), because I love reading her writing. It always makes me feel better. Secondly, a lot of what has been happening has to do with her and she is the best person to share those thoughts and feelings. And lastly, but by no means least, I want to keep ya’ll up to date on the most important part of our lives – Sadie.
So quickly us….
It has been a fairly crummy week health wise. The Sunday before last I had to go to the Urgent care center due to having a fever (they make you go if you have a fever over 100.4 -mine was 101.3). Of course this happens in the middle of the night. So off to the hospital I went at 11:45 pm. Thankfully, our good friend Caroline was staying with us and was able to take me to the hospital. Our hope was that Elisa would be able to get some sleep as well as Sadie. This has been one of the tough spots with both of us having cancer. We have had to decide that it is healthier for us if we try to not go to each other’s appointments. Otherwise, we would never get any rest. But, of course, our hearts are not so fond of this idea. Anyway, Elisa of course didn’t sleep because she was worried. Finally I received the all clear at 4:30am -just one of those fevers that can’t be figured out. This is what led to the onset of the soar throat and cold that just won’t leave Elisa alone. She has been coughing pretty much none stop for the past week. Otherwise, things have been pretty much run of the mill cancer patient around here. Shaving heads, forcing food down, not sleeping, getting chemo, you know, the usual suspects. But again, Elisa will be putting her wonderful humor to all this once she kicks this cold.
Warning: Father gushing over child ahead!
So on to the amazing Sadie. The Sadie that clearly has been working on her bachelors of engineering while at daycare. One night last week (from her crib) she used her crazy strong, long arms to grab items from a near by table to build a rudimentary ladder and climbed out of her crib! That is right, Houdini is back! So we have had to change her crib to a “big girl” bed. She loves this! However I can’t help but think that this is just step one in some grand master plan she has been plotting. Time to hide those keys to the car! Good thing she is still a couple of weeks away from being able to turn the doorknobs! She is also starting to say every word that she hears. For those of you that live in New York, heck, even if you have driven through New York, you will know that this means your kid is going to hear some interesting (colorful) words. Like (as Sadie says) “’Oly Shh”. Good thing she can’t read this blog yet! She is also starting to string those words together. My favorite paring so far, of course, has to be “Daddy do”. Yesterday morning she woke up and said, “Where are you Bunny”, - Bunny being her new stuffed animal companion (poor monkey…his heart broken). Ahh, the first in a long line of heart broken men I fear.
She is also quickly developing a strong sense of self. She is playing with her toys on her own for longer periods of time and carrying on little conversations too. I can’t wait until they actually contain words I can understand so I can listen in on her amazing thoughts!
She also knows what she does not want, and knows how to tell you. Last night Elisa and I were giving her a bath. Typically she loves this and even helps to wash herself. However, last night she was not into having her hair washed. When I started to lather the shampoo she absent-mindedly began to say “No”, but continued to play without looking up. As soon as she realized that this was not deterring me from washing her hair, she looked up, furrowed her eyebrows, pursed her lips, stared me square in the eye, and with perfect enunciation, yelled “NO!” Sorry Sadie, we didn’t mean to gloss over your wishes, but Elisa and I busted out laughing. It was the cutest face anyone has ever yelled at me with!
It is so amazing to watch her make connections between things too. When we first cut Elisa’s hair, we wanted to make sure she was there to watch so that it wouldn’t be a shock to her. It may have helped that my hair is already short, because she didn’t even seem to notice. We put Elisa’s hair into several ponytails so that they would stay long enough to be able to donate them later to Locks of Love. We laid them out for the night on the dinning room table to be packed up later. The next day we looked at the photographs that our dear friend Betsy had taken of the haircutting event. She had posted them online, so Elisa, her mom, Eileen, Sadie and I were all sitting at the table looking the pictures on our laptop. Betsy had created a beautiful slide show and put music to it, so it was very moving to see the images, and Elisa started to cry a little (me too). Sadie looked over at her (she was sitting between us in Eileen’s lap) and saw that she was crying. She reached out and placed her hand on Elisa’s shoulder in what could only be interpreted as a consoling manner. This, of course, did not help me stop crying. Next she points to the ponytails that are lying just beyond the computer and says “Mama?”
She leans forward and tries to grab one. So I hand her one to hold. She lifts it up and says “Mama” again as she tries to put it back on Elisa’s head (the right direction I might proudly point out). If I ever thought that she was not aware of what was going on around the house these days, that thought is gone. That moment, with its mix of sadness, astonishment, pride and joy will be one that I hang on to for a long time. It makes me happy that my little girl has such a sensitive intuition, and yet sad that she is having to feel all these different, and sometimes heavy emotions in our home. It inspires me in a big way too. It inspires me to overcome the little bumps that we face each week. I see my wife’s strength and love in her, and this gives me strength. So thank you Sadie. You make your Daddy stronger, and very proud.
I also wanted to say thank you again to our family and friends: Matt, who flew over from San Francisco, Kristen who flew in from Dallas, Caroline who flew in from Oregon, Dala who flew up from North Carolina, Aunt Vikii who flew in from St. Maarten, and ‘Uelita and Miana who are always filling in the gaps and help to take care of us. We love you guys! You are all so incredible kind and loving… and great caregivers! We miss you already.